Hi there. Congratulations to your great new album. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far.
Thank you so much! So far all the reactions have been great! People really seem to be digging on the sound and the line up!
Do you care for the opinion of your fans, the press and people in general? Or is it just you and your music?
Hell yes I do! At the end of the day, Divine Heresy is just a band. If it was not for our fans and for the press and the people that believe in us we would be nothing!!! We thank you all for your opinions and support!
Some of our readers may never have heard about you. Please give us a short briefing in the band's biography.
Well... mmmm. Dino met Tim and started forging a band. Then Tommy came into the band as well as Joe, They recorded Bleed the fifth and stormed the globe with there music. Tommy was then fired and I came into the picture and recorded Bringer of plagues and now we are gearing up the storm the globe once again.. I guess the rest is history to be made! J
Was there a moment when you realized that "Bringer of Plagues" would become something special?
Yes, of course. The minute we started writing the material for Bringer of plagues. I felt it was going to be something special and timeless!
Let's talk about your new CD. What are the differences between "Bleed the Fifth" and "Bringer of Plagues" in your opinion?
Bringer of plagues is a more mature DH. Bleed the fifth was the bands pilot record and was to get the band known and out there. This new record is DH taking our music to the next level! The heavy shit is heavier, the melodic shit is more melodic and everything in between has no boundaries!
What are the reasons for these differences?
You must evolve to stay fresh to people; we did want to make a repeat of the first record. We wanted to take what the first record had to offer and build a whole new DH from it
What is the message of "Bringer of Plagues"?
We feel that we are DH, but a rebuilt DH. Our new music to us is like a plague that we are about to unleash upon this globe. A plague that will conquer and devour everything in its path until the end of time!
My favourite is "Monolithic Doomsday Devices". Can you tell us something about this song and its history?
This song was one of the last songs written lyrically. Me and Logan(Mader) were in the studio before everybody else got there, and I was drawing blanks for the lyrics. So we started talking about movies and stuff and shit from The chronicles of Riddick came up. So basically that is what the whole concept of that song is based on that movie. The monolithic doomsday device is referencing the huge monolithic spears that the necromongers use to destroy the planets that they conquer. The rest you will have to figure out now that you have a platform of what it is about J
And what about "The Battle Of J Casey"?
The battle of J. Casey was written by one of my best friends. The song is based on the struggle of what one man has had placed before him and the perseverance to get through it all. It was a very inspirational piece for me and that is why I decided to use his lyrics!
Which one is your favourite song from the album and why?
I cannot say I have a favourite song on the record honestly. I really like them all! They all have a place inside me and I could not choose one J
How and why did you choose the album cover? Is there a further meaning behind it?
The cover art was geared to the theme of the record. End of time. The skeletal remains of preying nuns with withered and decayed hands, like a plague has stricken them and the reaper signifying the death of all. The locust swarming as talked about in all biblical and non biblical texts as one of the final plagues. And also the buzzards circling over head to devour the remains of what is left. Our record to us is ourselves and our music being a plague unleashed upon this world, but how would that look as a cover? Haha. We wanted a cover art and art layout that would represent the message we are trying to get across and make it effective! I think our layout is very effective and at first glance draws people in.
Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them.
All the lyrics on this record have a special meaning to me. Mostly because of the fact of, that in my past projects and bands. I have always used my emotion and past experiences to fuel my lyrics. With this record I came at more of a story telling approach. Really pulling influences from other sources other than just my feelings.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
They very I guess, I acquire inspiration from books, movies and even different video games and well as life experiences and the turmoil that I fight within myself from time to time.
What about the recording process of your new album? Any stories or curiosities to report?
The recording process was amazing! We had a lot of fun. All the people that were involved all made it a great experience! No story’s to report that were better than any other day in the studio! Every day was a great story J but I’m not writing a book here, I’m just doing an interview.... J
How would you describe your own music?
I would describe our music as Heavy, brutal, melodic with no boundaries.. As people will hear with my other bands. Not one sounds the same. I have musical influences from all ranges. From a band that real extreme and heavy like Divine Heresy to a band that is all clean singing and more of a 10 years, 30 seconds to mars vibe like my project Kemikal Burn. I really feel that music that inspires and stands the test of time should be well rounded. Music that is heavy all the time and is all heavy vocals all the time is cool, but I feel after a while it gets a little monotints. Just the same for bands that are sing songy all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not downing any bands or what they do. You asked my opinion. I feel that having the ability to cross into all types of styles within one band is important and at the end of the day will reach more listeners from all preferences of music.
How do you create your sound? Which equipment do you use?
Well in the studio, we used what our engineer felt would suit my voice well. Live I use a sure sm58 mic and a carvin in ear monitor system. I don’t have any effects that are running from my rig on stage; usually I’m at the mercy of the house sound guy..
Please tell us something about the process of song writing.
The song writing process for Bringer of plagues was definitely a great experience but a very difficult experience. The time we spent writing the record and putting it all together was a lot of hard work and tireless hours. It was the hardest record I have written yet in my life. I knew I was coming into an established band and I had a big set of shoes to fill, so naturally it was a very stressful thing for me. But I feel and the rest of the DH team feels I did a great job and that it is up to par if not better then the bands first release!
What are your musical influences in your opinion?
As I stated before, I range from a lot of different influences. I’m a huge fan of the Swedish metal scene and the Euro metal scene. I’m also a fan of some bands that are US. Bands that are not all metal, more of rock bands as well as some pop music. I feel in order to grow as a musician and be something or someone that can evolve; you have to draw a lot of influence from other avenues other than just the music you play. Keeping an open mind when it comes to other types of music is ideal. In my opinion, if you limit yourself to just one style of music than you will never grow as musician. You will remain in a secluded box.
We'd like to know something about your background in making music. How did you learn to play, what are your experiences and which musicians are your main technical influence?
Well I will tell you right now, I was not someone that singing came natural to. When I first started I could scream and yell my ass off but I could not hold a clean note to save my life J it took years of refining and practice to get where I am at today. I don’t by any means think that I am a badass vocalist. I feel that I still have a lot of growing to do and evolving! Once you think you are the best or carry yourself like that, you will never move forward! My influences range from all sorts. I influence from a lot of the Swedish/Euro sound. A lot of my favourite bands are from that part of the world.
What do you think: How will Divine Heresy sound like in let's say five years? Is there a master plan?
No master plan, we are just going to write the music that we want to write. One thing is for sure, you will never hear a repeat. We will constantly evolve and progress.. I expect good things to always come out of this band!
Please name some lately released CDs that you like to listen to at home.
People may look at this and think “That guy is not metal” but I have a very open musical influence and listen to a lot of different bands. The stuff I have been listening to at home and can’t seem to get out of my ears is. I will give you five bands.. Not all are new records..
1. Dead by April – Dead by April
2. Divine Heresy – Bringer of plagues
3. The Gathering – souvenirs
4. The haunted – The dead eye
5. The Bereaved – Daylight deception
Do you still watch other bands play? Have there been some shows lately that impressed you?
I still go to show’s regularly. I love live music and seeing what local scene’s have to offer.. The last national tour I saw was Slipknot, and they were amazing as always. The rest has been local shows. I just saw Suicide Opera from Ft worth Texas the other night and they were amazing!
What makes the difference between Divine Heresy and other metal bands?
I think we have a very unique sound and something special. The band is made up of top notch musicians and the music is nothing but top notch as well! I won’t say we are better than any other bands out there but I definitely think we have something that will become timeless!
We'd like to know something about the underground in your hometown. Are you still in touch? And if so: Where do you hang out? Are there some yet unknown bands that you like?
The scene in San Diego is pretty strong, I usually will go see shows at Brick by brick or The jumping turtle. There are a lot of great bands that are playing out there and not getting the recognition that they deserve. Bands like Six Reasons, Unset, One Theory, Dead serial killers and Devolved.. Look those bands up on MySpace and give them a listen! I have been in the Texas scene lately as well and there is a band out here called Suicide Opera that is really making people talk. They have a great live show and are worth checking out! So look them up as well on MySpace...
How important is it for you to play live on stage?
To me, it is just as important to play live as it is to put out new a new record! Your music is only one part of your band; the other is your live performance... In order to be successful and be able to reach people you need to be in their faces in all aspects! Live and everywhere else!
Are there still some bands that you would die to play with?
I would love to share a stage with a few bands! Metallica would be amazing! Dead by April.. I would love to play with Carcass or At the gates and what I would not give for an Edge of sanity reunion show! Dan Swano is fucking GOD!
Please tell us something about further live activities.
Well as of now, DH is planning our tour for next year. I do not know for sure if we will be touring this year at all. I have other activities going on with my other bands. I have a roster of show’s booked in California, Arizona and Nevada with my other band Hatetimesnine. As well as a new production company that has been started with me and a friend based in Woodland hills’ California. So I will be producing bands and playing out, but unfortunately no shows as of yet or tour schedule as of yet for DH..
Still three questions to go. What do you think of Metal web magazines?
I’m a big supporter of metal webzines for sure! I really respect the fact that there are people out there that will give up their own free time to keep people updated on what is going on in the metal underground and mainstream scene!
Is there something that you have never been asked but always have been eager to say?
Well, hahaha.. I don’t really know. I’m new to this interview thing, so... I guess not, sorry I do not mean to sound boring J
We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best wishes to you all. Any last words?
I’m real excited to play in Germany as well! Hopefully we will get share a stage with some great German acts like Heaven shall burn or Deadlock!! Last words?? Yes! Thank you to all of your readers and our German based fans for their undying support! We look forward to meeting all of you and hanging out when we get there!!! Much love from me and Divine Heresy and don’t forget to pick up the new record “Bringer of plagues” on July 28th!!!